The Northeast Conference unveiled its 2017 Preseason Cross Country Poll on Thursday afternoon, pinning Central Connecticut at the top of the list with five first place nods. Last season the Blue Devils won its eighth consecutive NEC Championship under head coach Eric Blake. Blake, the reigning three-time Northeast Conference Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year will look to raise yet another trophy and surpass the Quinnipiac women's cross country program for the most consecutive championships (2005-2012) in NEC history.
The Blue Devils extended its run of championships by the help of three runners in the top-10 and having all five of its scoring runners finish among the top-15 individual finishers. CCSU was 10 points ahead of the 2016 NEC runner-up, Sacred Heart, who was chosen to finish second again with two first place votes.
The Red Flash of Saint Francis were predicted to finish third this season, ahead of Wagner in the fourth spot. Taking the fifth, sixth and seventh place in the 2017 Coaches Poll was Mount St. Mary's, Bryant and St. Francis Brooklyn, respectively.
Rounding out the eight-team preseason ballot was Fairleigh Dickinson.
CCSU will host the 2017 NEC Championships on October 28 at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT.
The men's cross country team will begin its quest for Northeast Conference Championship history on Saturday, September 9 at the Massachusetts for the Minutemen Invitational in Amherst, MA.